Rev. James Moir
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On the morning of May 6, 1881, there passed away from this earth one of the most genial spirits that ever lived in our town. He had come among us twenty-seven years before, and when he died, he left "neither an enemy nor a wrong behind him." Doubtless he had his failings, but he judged other people gently himself, and with the same measure he meted, it was measured to him again.

He left two books behind him as his monument. One of these was on his much-meditated subject of the Millennium. The other was entitled "The Power of an Endless Life." And from the latter, I here give a few characteristic extracts, so that he being dead may yet speak to us.

Mr Moir was not what is commonly called a forcible preacher. His style of speech was correct and calm, rather than pithy and sententious. But now and again he presented truth in a fresh and striking way which clung to the memory. I need not add that he was stainlessly orthodox in his teaching. Perhaps, in my judgment, he was occasionally over-confident in his opinions; for it is not given to finite minds to grasp all the sides of infinite Truth, and it is better to allow a little indefiniteness regarding things which transcend human thought.

He himself has said that "while men may live hypocrites, they seldom die such." And judged by that standard, we may confidently say of Mr Moir that he was a true man, for what he. was in life he was in death. There was no alteration in that quiet humour and genial talk till the end came. He was one who loved his fellow-men; and, although he did not like to declare that fact abroad, nothing gave him greater pleasure than showing it in act.

Many of his happy, genial sayings come back to the memory as we think of him. "Maybole gas is a black, burning shame!" "All my children were born on the Sabbath. It was most awkward for me; and is an argument for the celibacy of the clergy!" A lady given to the use of big words once expressed her sorrow to him that a friend of his had taken "apocalyptic fits." "Oh no, ma’am!" he at once replied—" it ‘s me that takes the apocalyptic fits, he takes epileptic ones!" Speaking of refreshments at funerals he drily remarked, "Funeral Port is suggestive;" and quoted a Colmonell farmer who once said to him, "Deed ay, man, a funeral ‘s no worth gaun to noo-adays." A preacher once excused himself from speaking at a meeting on account of a weak throat—" May be weak farther up" was the quiet remark. One of his boys had dropped burning sealing wax near the eye of his younger brother, and it looked serious enough at the time; but the thing that tickled him amid it all was the youthful culprit wringing his hands and crying—" I wish I had never been born!" He believed in Millenarianism, but no one laughed more gaily than he when a critic thus wrote regarding one of his articles—" This reverend gentleman seems to know all things, Past, Present, and to come. But we call to mind the words of Dr Southwood Smith who said, that dealers in prophecy are either mad or going mad."

We shall never hear his voice again; but in reading the following sentences, we may once more clothe them with his personality, and be blessed unawares by that genial presence which never brought with it strife or bitterness, but always peace and charity.

Some of Rev. James Moir’s Sayings.

Christianity has solved this problem—How to make life good, and death better.

We believe the Bible to be the Word of God because Jesus believed it.

The Bible writers say very little about death compared with what they say about eternal glory.

It is only through the existence of sin that we can measure God’s love. Sin has supplied the lead, and the Redemption work has been the sounding-line; and for nearly 6,000 years the lead has been sinking, and no bottom ‘reported. The timid swimmer will never strike out upon the water so long as he can find any footing; and no one will trust himself to the blood of Christ alone so long as he retains any foothold in his own righteousness.

Though God is all merciful, He is not all mercy.

I regard Calvin, among uninspired men, as the greatest master of Divine truth that has appeared in the world.

The battle Knox fought and won was bigger with issues than either that which Wallace fought at Stirling, or Bruce at Bannockburn.

We admit that Knox was intolerant; but we must remember that we are sent into this world to do something more than tolerate—even to resist and to overcome whatever is evil.

There is only one force that can exalt the whole man, and that is the force which acts upon the heart through faith in Christ Jesus.

Christian progress is needed not only for assurance, but even for the existence of the faintest rational hope of being saved at all.

Our Saviour did not care for the stones of the Temple, in comparison with the living stones of the living Temple.

We glory in exhibiting the Saviour’s work as definite in its nature—a satisfaction to Divine justice; definite in its objects—those whom the Father gave to Christ from everlasting; and definite in its results—making salvation not merely possible, but certain for all whom the Father had given Him.

What really is the great bulk of our congregations, but just little patches of the wicked world under a Christian name?

Most people die under an oppressive sense of incompleteness, arid ardently wish to live a little longer, that they might impart a little coherence and consistency to their characters and lives.

Let us school ourselves in putting the best face upon the faults and failings of all around us, until it becomes our habit so to do; for in this way we will occupy all the better vantage-ground for contributing to their reformation.

God’s riches are moral and spiritual. His goodness, grace, mercy, long-suffering—these are His treasures.

We shall be with Jesus—and that being right, nothing else can be wrong.

There are some seasons in which it is easier to be saved than at others.

Don’t put off preparation to a dying hour, for dying brings enough of troubles of its own.

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